updated 7 Sep 2011, 06:29
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Wed, Sep 07, 2011
The New Paper
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Botox or natural?

WITH more television programmes shooting in high definition, exposing every crease and pore on faces of celebrities, botox seems to be the natural way to go for a flawless face on screen.

Or perhaps... not?

Last Sunday's article in The Sunday Times had many viewers of Channel 8 drama The Ultimatum pointing out the wrinkles on 41-year old Queen of Caldecott Hill Zoe Tay, which a particular interviewee bluntly referred to as being 'quite obvious on her face'.

Could those criticisms be avoided if Zoe had gone for a session of botox?

The New Paper spoke to a few local actors; what would they prefer?

A botox job to retain one's youthful appearance, or simply keeping it real in the name of au naturale?

'I actually prefer wrinkles on my forehead. It makes me look intellectual, like I have endured many years of hardship,' said radio and TV personality Dennis Chew, in a phone interview with The New Paper.

The witty 35-year old added that 'it has never crossed his mind' to go for botox.

'Well, maybe when I'm very old, then I might consider that option.'

He chuckled and said the the use of HD (high definition) doesn't worry him one bit.

'I couldn't care less about HD. I'm scared of H1N1 (referring to the flu virus) though.'

Veteran actress Aileen Tan, 42, currently seen in the Channel 5 English drama Red Thread, echoed his sentiments.

'Look at Hollywood actresses like Diane Keaton (age 63) and Helen Hunt (age 46). They might not be young, but they age gracefully and naturally,' she said.

'More importantly, audiences in the West accept them for who they are.'

She stressed that everyone should look at his or her body 'as a proportionate whole' before taking the plunge into botox or any form of plastic surgery.

'What's the point of getting all these injections to defy ageing, eventually ending up with a stiff, tightened face but not a body to match it?' Aileen exclaimed.

'You'll just appear odd on screen.'

Once injected, twice shy

For MediaCorp compere Quan Yifeng, it was a case of once bitten, twice shy.

The 34-year old shared with The New Paper that her previous botox job, done on her cheeks more than eight years ago, was one major disaster.

Following the procedure, every time she tried to smile, 'my skin trembled and the smile turned out crooked'.

'I couldn't control my facial muscles. It was that bad,' said Yifeng.

She consulted with her doctor on whether she could 'have another couple of injections to correct it', but the doctor said that it would just worsen the situation.

It eventually took half a year for the stiffness to subside in her face, but it has left her in fear of giving botox a second chance.

In contrary, actor Chen Hanwei, 39, was luckier with his botox experience.

He admitted, in a phone interview with The New Paper, that he had had botox done 'above my eyebrows'.

'The lines were increasing at a rapid rate and they became an eyesore, even for myself,' said Hanwei.

It worked for him and he sees no wrong in going for botox, so long as 'one does not overdo it'.

'Botox is good as it removes the obvious signs of ageing... But everyone should have some flaws and wrinkles on their faces; to me, humans look nicer when they're imperfect,' said Hanwei.

Bubbly host and actress Kym Ng, in her late 30s, has had the thought of botox 'cross her mind', but she puts it off every time because of her fear of injections.

'I'm so scared of needles. Every time I go for blood tests, I cringe,' she said.

She feels that most artistes are 'actually all for the idea of ageing naturally on screen', but it's just that audiences 'can't seem to accept it'.

Sounding perplexed, Kym said: 'It's okay if you blast our acting skills, but blasting someone for having a wrinkled face is like criticising someone for being ugly.

'I don't think it is right.'

Ageing gracefully

Television viewers The New Paper spoke to were evidently kinder than the netizens who were merciless in criticising Zoe Tay.

Teacher Tay Bin Hua, 58, said it's a 'sad reality that in Asia, audiences are not yet ready to accept a celebrity ageing while they're still acting actively'.

She pointed to the fact that one of her favourite Hollywood actors, Robert Redford (age 72), has 'many lines on his face, yet, he is still dashing and well-loved'.

Another Channel 8 viewer, Mr Liang Shu Ming, 38, an IT consultant, said 'ageing gracefully is the key'.

'Everyone grows old, but as you can see from Hong Kong celebrities such as Liza Wang and Carol Cheng, they age beautifully,' said Mr Liang.

'If a celebrity ages badly, perhaps, then, they should consider botox.'

This article was first published in The New Paper

readers' comments
I see no reason to deny it..if it helps to look good, why not? personally, I go for botox every 6 months to ease my wrinkles and frown lines as these aging lines make me just look like an old frumpy and angry witch :)
Posted by jjtomi on Sun, 30 Aug 2009 at 11:49 AM
i don't believe aileen tan didn't do it...
fann wong should have done it too...
but i don't think christoper lee have - 'cos he looked full of wrinkles now... maybe he should go for it :D
Posted by complicated on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 at 00:02 AM
The question of whether to botox or not to botox in the age of high-def TV becomes an issue for local celebs.
View the article here.
Posted by A1Team on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 at 21:03 PM

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